The lighthouse at Formentor, Mallorca

The background shows sidewalk tiles - "rajoles" - that pave the sidewalks throughout Barcelona. They were designed by architect Puig i Cadafalch for the entryway of a home. Since 1915, they have been used by the city to pave sidewalks, and have become emblematic of the city. One of the city's most famous chocolatiers, Enric Rovira, produces chocolate bars in the shape and design of these tiles.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Barcelona Stake Conference: 40 Chairs

"And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities, which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat."
Joshua 24:13
First eight missionaries in Barcelona, October 1969
Last weekend we attended the stake conference of the Barcelona Stake. The conference was held in the beautiful new Barcelona stake center, a three story building which has been open for just about six months. Outside of the Madrid Temple, it is probably the most beautiful Church building the country.

In the Sunday session, as I stood at the pulpit and looked out over the congregation - chapel, cultural hall, and onto the stage - I was reminded of the beginning of the work here in Barcelona. In October of 1969, eight missionaries traveled from Madrid to Barcelona to open the work. They arrived early on a Saturday morning so they would have time to find a place to stay that night. They held the first sacrament meeting on the beach early on Sunday morning, presided over by Elder Michael Duffin who served as the zone leader and branch president. They soon located space on the second floor of a building near the Sagrada Familia and hired a contractor to build some partitions for classrooms. They then petitioned President Smith B. Griffin of the Paris France Mission (which included Spain) for 40 chairs for the new little chapel. President Griffin questioned the need for so many chairs when the little branch consisted of only eight missionaries and two or three investigators. But the elders promised that they would fill the 40 chairs.

As I looked over the congregation in the stake center on Sunday, I noted that we had at least 40 chairs on the stage at the back of the cultural hall! We owe a special debt of gratitude to those first eight elders - in so many ways, we are the recipients of their pioneering work.

Early missionaries in Barcelona


  1. This is the best story! Thank you for sharing. I'm so glad I went to the first Stake Conference held in that building!

  2. What a wonderful work and a legacy to be a part of.

  3. I love this post! I love that gorgeous building!

  4. What a fantastic work to be a part of and how grateful our son can be there to share in such a magnificent effort! Thank you for posting the pictures also.

  5. And may we continue to fill forty times forty more!